Health & Safety Files
A Health and Safety File is required on all projects involving more than one contractor. If a Health and Safety File exists for a structure involved in a project with only one contractor, this file will still need to be updated.
The health and safety file should contain the information needed to allow future construction work, including cleaning, maintenance, alterations refurbishment and demolition to be carried out safely. The scope, structure and format of the file should be agreed between the client and the Principal Designer at the start of the project.
Work Safety Solutions can assist with compiling a Health and Safety file at the end of a project
Contents of the Health & Safety File
The file must contain information about the current project that is likely to be needed to ensure health and safety during any subsequent work such as maintenance, cleaning, refurbishment or demolition. When preparing the health and safety file, information on the following should be considered for inclusion:
- A brief description of the work carried out; Any hazards that have not been eliminated through the design and construction processes, and how they have been addressed.
- Key structural principles (e.g. bracing, sources of substantial stored energy – including pre- or post-tensioned members) and safe working loads for floors and roofs;
- Hazardous materials used (e.g. lead paints and special coatings);
- Information regarding the removal or dismantling of installed plant and equipment (e.g. any special arrangements for lifting such equipment);
- Health and safety information about equipment provided for cleaning or maintaining the structure;
- The nature, location and markings of significant services, including underground cables; gas supply equipment; fire-fighting services etc;
- Information and as-built drawings of the building, its plant and equipment (e.g. the means of safe access to and from service voids and fire doors).
When the project is completed and the Health and Safety File has been handed over by the Principal Designer, the client should keep it available for those who need to use it. This will include maintenance contractors, the Principal Designer and contractors preparing or carrying out future construction work.